There are things that are said among adults that have a common understanding based on shared experiences. However, when coaches try these common expressions on young players, there may be nods of understanding followed by actions of confusion. The following table gives some common coaching expressions that may be confusing or negative with some possible more clear or positive alternatives.
- Catch up and be in position to help out on the play.
- Win your individual battles.
- Keep up with the play.
- The other team will always catch you unless you go faster.
- We just didn't have any defense today.
- Don't bunch up!
- Everybody is responsible for defending against scores.
- Remember your positions.
- Stay in your position and let your teammates share the work.
- You're not sharing the play.
- You're being a "hot dog".
- Keep your head up as you move to see passing opportunities.
- Play position and remember to pass rather than to try to do everything by yourself.
- One person can't do it all, it takes a team.
- If more than one person is covering you, then it means that someone is open. Look for your open teammate.
- Just because you can move it to the net doesn't make it the best play. Passing gives the team the best chance to score.
- Use better stance and balance to avoid falling.
- You are waiting too long to pass.
- Shoot the ball/puck sooner and let your teammates work together for a possible rebound.
Coaches learn over time the expressions or phrases that work best for a particular age group. Older players often understand with less words. However, when coaches take a few sentences more to educate, they do not leave any doubt about what actions they want changed.